It’s that time of year again! Whether you are new to campus or returning, there are plenty of free back-to-school events to welcome you. Check out the line up for Welcome Week 2017!
It’s that time of year again! Whether you are new to campus or returning, there are plenty of free back-to-school events to welcome you. Check out the line up for Welcome Week 2017!
This year is very special for the University of Illinois because we are celebrating the sesquicentennial, or 150 year anniversary of our University. The day after Uggles is found, we have been revealing the location, along with some historical information about the place where she was hidden. Whether the building is new or old, each building on campus has a unique history! If you’ve missed some of the posts, you can read more below! All of our posts in order create a historical walking tour of campus, so celebrate the sesquicentennial and the spring weather with a stroll around all of Uggles’s hiding spots!
Week 1 (October 31, 2016) – Alma
Congratulations to our first winner, Sandy, who found Uggles hiding at the Alma Mater statue! Alma was unveiled in June 1929 and was originally placed directly behind Foellinger Auditorium. On August 22, 1962, the Alumni Association moved the sculpture to its present location in front of Altgeld Hall.
Week 2 (November 7, 2016) – Foellinger Auditorium
Congratulations to this week’s winner, Christopher, who found Uggles hiding at Foellinger Auditorium. Built in 1907, Foellinger has had many famous faces speak and perform within. Among these include: John Phillip Sousa, Jane Addams, Robert Frost, Duke Ellington, Eleanor Roosevelt, Ravi Shankar, R. Buckminster Fuller, Maya Angelou, and Bill Gates.
Week 3 (November 14, 2016) – Grange Grove
Congratulations to this week’s winner, Leonel, who found Uggles hiding at Grange Grove, which debuted in 2015.
Grange Grove has transformed what was previously Lot 36, into a free, high-energy tailgating area, which students and fans enjoy!
Week 4 (November 28, 2016) – Lincoln Hall
Congratulations to this week’s winner, Anih, who found Uggles hiding by the Lincoln Bust in Lincoln Hall.
Lincoln Hall opened in 1911 and has “held theater productions, history museums, libraries, and offices for faculty and staff.”
The bust of Lincoln was added in 1928 and has been there ever since, with the exception of one day in 1979 “when thieves stole the bust and mounted it on a tree stump at a local golf course.”
Week 5 (December 5, 2016) – Illini Union Bookstore
Congratulations to this week’s winner, Olivia, who found Uggles hiding inside the Illini Union Bookstore. Named as such in 1940, the bookstore is a “continuation of a book exchange organized in the early 1920s by students at the university.” The Illini Union Bookstore is “one of the largest independent college bookstores in the country.”
Week 6 (February 20, 2017) – CRCE
Congratulations to this week’s winner, Jessica, who found Uggles hiding inside the Campus Recreation Center East (CRCE). Although it originally opened in 1988, CRCE as we know it today officially opened in March 2005. Along with the usual basketball courts and gyms, CRCE also has an indoor waterslide and a waterfall!
Week 7 (February 27, 2016) – Main Library
Congratulations to this week’s winner who found Uggles hiding in the Main Library! The Main Library was founded in 1867 and actually pre-dates the University, as the founders wanted students and staff to have access to books and materials “from the day they arrived on campus.” The Library officially opened in 1868, and eventually moved to the building we know it as in 1926.
Week 8 (March 6, 2017) – Funk ACES Library
Congratulations to this week’s winner, Kelsey, who found Uggles hiding outside the Funk ACES library! It was built and dedicated in 2001, and “one of the study rooms on the fourth floor is a gift from the College of Agriculture Class of 1941, honoring their 10 classmates who died in the Second World War.”
Week 9 (March 14, 2017) – English Building
Congratulations to this week’s winner, Logan, who found Uggles hiding outside of the English Building. Built in 1905, the English Building has quite the history. Originally serving as a women’s dormitory with a gymnasium and pool, it eventually became the home economics department and was renamed Bevier Hall in 1947. Finally becoming the English Building in 1956, there are many rumors surrounding the supposed haunting of this building.
Week 10 (March 27, 2017) – Illini Union
Congratulations to this week’s winner, Hector, who found Uggles hiding outside the Illini Union, which opened on February 8th, 1941 and celebrated its 75th Anniversary last year! “The building was designed in the shape of an ‘I’ to honor the university,” and was dedicated by Eleanor Roosevelt in 1942.
Week 11 (April 3, 2017) – Undergraduate Library
Congratulations to this week’s winner, Laura, who found Uggles hiding in the Undergrad Library’s courtyard! The UGL was dedicated in November 1969, and the inscription around the top of the courtyard was a gift from the class of 1916. The reason that the UGL was built underground was to avoid casting shade on the Morrow Plots. It was also to allow for open space behind Foellinger Auditorium, an important part of the Campus Master Plan at that time.
Week 12 (April 10, 2017) – University Gateway
Congratulations to this week’s winner, Ana Michaela, who found Uggles hiding at the Gateway on Lincoln and Green! As the easternmost entrance, it welcomes Urbana residents to come visit this bustling area of campus town. Further down on Green Street there are many different restaurants and shops that make it the social hub of our campus.
Week 13 (April 17, 2017) – Grainger Engineering Library
Congratulations to this week’s winner who found Uggles hiding outside of Grainger Engineering Library. Dedicated in 1994, Grainger is the largest engineering library in the country.
The ribbon cutting ceremony was performed on a touch-screen computer and when the ribbon was “cut”, fireworks appeared on the screen. In 1994, this was cutting-edge technology!
Uggles was hiding with the statue outside of Grainger, known as “Grainger Bob.”
Week 14 (April 24, 2017) – Morrow Plots
Congratulations to this week’s winner, Kennedy, who found Uggles hiding in the Morrow Plots! Founded in 1876, the Morrow Plots are the “oldest continually used experimental agricultural fields in the U.S. and the second oldest in the world.”
Week 15 (May 1, 2017) – Eternal Flame
Congratulations to this week’s winner, Jose, who found Uggles hiding at the Eternal Flame, which was a gift from the class of 1912. There is a campus myth that states, “A lover’s kiss will bring eternal bliss,” signifying that if you kiss your lover under the flame, your relationship will last forever. No matter the legend, the Eternal Flame is a great place to sit and enjoy the nice weather on the Quad!
Congratulations to the winner of our Grand Prize raffle Ana Michaela, who won a Kindle Fire!
Although campus seems empty, that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do this summer in good old Champaign-Urbana! This is only a selection of the bundles of events that will keep your social life sizzling this summer.
If you thought the Union would be deserted over the summer, think again! Visit the Courtyard Cafe in the Illini Union during these major soccer tournaments to see your favorite–and least favorite–teams duke it out on the field.
After a day of frollicking in the sun, enjoy a June night on the Quad with your friends and Alan Rickman! The Illini Union will be showing this film that explores ethics during war. With a 95% rating from Rotten Tomatoes and a pricetag of $0, there’s no excuse not to give it a chance.
Always wanted to see Wesley on the big screen? As you wish! This classic spoof on the Romantic Comedy movie genre is just one movie being shown as part of the Virginia Theater’s ROMCOM16 series. Climbing the Cliffs of Insanity would be better than missing this!
For the 21 and up crowd, be sure to check out the Uncork Urbana Wine Festival this month. The festival features wine tasting, food trucks, and live music in downtown Urbana. Nab your tickets a couple days early to save $5 on admission!
This annual live music event also features food and drinks from all your favorite local spots. Enjoy the great June weather with bands The New and Slightly Used, Sun Stereo, and Jim Markum Swing Band. If you can’t make it in June, StreetFest will be back with new bands on July 16.
Paint a wine bottle and get a little tipsy at this BYOB event at Lola’s Brush in Champaign. Admission includes materials. If you can’t make it on this day, don’t fret! There are BYOB painting events at Lola’s throughout the summer, including a couple’s paint and wine glass painting.
May has finally graced us with its presence and it brings wonderful events along with flowers and sunshine just before (and some after, for those of you sticking around) graduation. We’re going to avoid having graduation itself on this list so those of you ignoring its ever-looming presence may be at ease and are instead going to focus on some of the lighter and less real-life-inducing things you can do around town this month. With events ranging from the swansong of a local music staple to the always pleasant opportunity to take in some nature, we hope we’ll find a little something for everyone this month.
For those of you graduating, we wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors and we thank you for sharing some of your time at the U of I with us here at the UGL. Congratulations to the class of 2016!
Sometimes it seems like the only way to make it through finals is to watch a laugh-out-loud movie with friends. Lucky for you, the good folks at the Illini Union are going to screen the new How to Be Single movie, starring Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson for those of you looking looking to take a break from all that cramming. This funny, smart, not-so-original rom-com may be all you need to get you through this coming week.
Many of the events blogs we’ve posted in the past have featured glimpses into the deep musical soul of our twin cities and many of those past events have been hosted at one of CU’s finest local music venues: Mike N Molly’s. As the saying goes, “all good things must come to an end” and May 13 will be the final night for locals to bask in the glorious sounds that can be found emanating from the glorious green bar in Downtown Champaign. Local giants Withershins will play the final set ever and while we would advise seeing them anytime they’re playing around town, we think this performance will be even a bit more special. It’s a night that will be remembered for many years to come just like the ceremony happening the days following it.
If you’ve never been to the Arboretum over near the intersection of Lincoln and South Florida Avenues, anytime in May would be the perfect time to visit. The Japan House is a serene spot where you can simply sit and watch an afternoon slip on by or if you head toward the back of the Arboretum you’ll find yourself lost in the flowers of the Selection Garden, sure to be in bloom by the end of finals and offering more colors than you can imagine in one place. The Idea Garden is another beautiful spot to spend some time in and overall, we think you’ll find some sense of inner peace when walking around on a sunny day. And after finals, that may be just what you need.
Champaign-Urbana is chock full of lovely parks that are a great place to spend a summer day and the Parks District is looking to bring even more people to them this summer with their Sounds at Sunset Concert Series. May 22 will feature the Craig Russo Latin Jazz Project, a group that is sure to play some lively and intricate tunes that could be the cap to a perfect weekend. The parks department encourages you to bring chairs and refreshments, so put on your weekend shorts and shades and listen to some great music as the sun goes down before another work week.
Summer and all its sunshine and warmth will hopefully be in full swing by the end of the month and the best way to cool off is to hit the pool. Sholem Aquatic Center will be celebrating its opening day and for only $9 for admission, you’d be hard pressed to find a better place to beat the heat.
March is possibly the best month for events as winter finally starts to dwindle away and as the snow melts, the city shakes itself into a frenzy of activity. We can’t promise that the snow is going to stay away all month, but we can promise that CU is rife with events that are worthy of your time and we’ve done our best to come up with a list of some of the greatest you can find. We’ll assume you already have plans for spring break and will leave that week and weekend out.
The Grapes of Wrath at Krannert – March 3-13
John Steinbeck is undeniably one of the greatest authors America has ever produced and many believe “The Grapes of Wrath” to be his finest work. Yeah, that book you read in high school about the Dust Bowl, you remember it. Well, Krannert is putting on the staged production of the novel for a few weeks and it’s definitely one you won’t want to miss. The working class struggles of the Tom Joad and his comrades are ones that resonate as deeply today as they ever have, so give yourself a nice night at the theater and check this one out for only $10 student tickets.
Urinetown at Gregory Hall Theatre – March 11 and 12 at 7:30pm and 13 at 2:30pm
Illini Student Musicals is an organization dedicated to putting on high quality musical productions here at the University and will be presenting “Urinetown”, the Tony-Award winning musical romp by Mark Hollman and Greg Kotis. Musicals aren’t necessarily for everyone, but this is one that even the most discerning person will find themselves in stitches by intermission. Tickets are only 10 bucks for student and the three nights make it a flexible plan for even the busiest person.
Photo Noir Art Show at Gallery 217 – March 11 through April
While one could simply visit the new Student Art Gallery on the Upper Level of the UGL, one may also want to make a trip out of seeing new and exciting local art. Gallery 217 has a fantastic downtown location and has been putting on amazing art shows featuring local and regional talent. We suggest hitting Pekara just up the road for some bread then checking out the brooding and beautiful noir photography work this show will offer.
Watson’s Shack & Rail – Anytime
Normally we try to pick specific events for these posts, but since Spring Break falls right in the middle of March, we thought we’d give everyone something they could do that week if they’re around or another week if they feel like it. One of the hottest new restaurants causing mass salivation in downtown Champaign is Watson’s Shack & Rail, the new fried chicken place. If that alone doesn’t excite you, take a look at their website. How good does that look? And for those of you with dietary restrictions, the locally sourced salads and grilled cheese look like they surely won’t disappoint. Make a night of it!
Spotlight Film Series: Carol at the Illini Union – March 29 at 7pm
Though this blog was written before the Oscar’s and we therefore do not know the results, we can still say that “Carol” is one of the top movies that came out in 2015 and is one you surely don’t want to miss. So long as you have your i-Card, you can see this movie at the Union on March 29 for free (along with other great movies featuring stories highlighting the struggles women have faced throughout history the rest of the month). This one’s a no-brainer, really. Free. Award nominated (and possibly winning). Free. Done.
Welcome to new students and welcome back for returning students! Break is over and it’s time to start the spring semester, so let us help you plan your first two weeks with some fun events to get you back into the swing of classes, campus, and Champaign-Urbana life. The beginning of the semester will be packed with all sorts of fun events, including a heaping handful from the Illini Union, so we tried to find some of the best events happening so you can just relax and get ready for a great spring.
Hot Chocolate and Chill at Anniversary Plaza – January 21 from 11am to 2pm
The Union’s Winter Week of Welcome offers students a bunch of fun things to do in the first week of the spring semester, but this event stood out as one of the most obvious for a peaceful and delicious time. Head over the Anniversary Plaza between classes and relax in a human snow-globe with a nice cup of hot cocoa. Hopefully it won’t be too cold in the globe or on campus that day!
Illini Ice Hockey vs. Rochester College at Illini Ice Arena – January 22 & 23 at 7:30pm
Basketball and football are obviously premier sports here at the University, but the Illini also field a hockey team and you’d be hard pressed to get a more intimate setting to watch Illini sports than in the stands at Illini Ice Arena. With $5 tickets, it’s almost a no-brainer to go and check out the team as they face off against Rochester College on both Friday and Saturday night. It may seem silly to spend a potentially cold winter night in an ice rink, but the Illini spirit that buzzes through the stadium on game night will keep you warm and pumped throughout the game.
New Students Tours of the Main Library – January 25, 26, and 29 at varying times
In case you didn’t know, the U of I has one of the biggest library collections in the nation. That’s good news because you can find almost anything you’d need using our libraries, but it can also be a bit overwhelming. Librarians are here for tours on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday during the second week of the semester at both the Main and Undergraduate Library, showing you all the major service points and some other areas of interest. Whether you want to learn the best place to study or where to find all the best video games (on the Lower Level of the UGL in the Media Collection), these tours are sure to be a fine introduction to the library here at the U of I. Check the link below for specific times.
RSO Involvement Fair at Illini Union – January 27 from 11am to 3pm
Registered Student Organizations (RSO) are one of the glorious things about this campus; if you have an interest, there’s probably an RSO where you can find kindred spirits or you can form one to fill the void. Though Quad Day is only in the Fall and is the biggest collection of RSO’s on campus, the Involvement Fair gives those of you looking for a new group the chance to connect with people you may have missed in the Fall.
The Great Cover Up 25 at The Accord – January 21, 22, 23, 28, and 29 at 7pm
By the end of the second week of the semester on campus, you’ll probably feel like an old pro and may want to venture off into the downtown areas surrounding campus. Champaign-Urbana has a thriving music scene and the venue formerly known as the Highdive just reopened this January and is hosting the 25th Annual Great Cover Up, an event that gets popular local acts to perform cover sets of just about any band you could think of. Every night is packed with high quality local acts, but we think the final night of the event is perfect for those of you with wide-ranging musical tastes with locals such as Church Booty (R&B/soul/funk), T.R.U.T.H. (hip-hop), 90’s Daughter (buzz magazine’s three time best cover band in CU winner), and a bunch of other terrific acts sending off this years celebrations.